Thursday, November 22, 2012

4 mile Turkey Trot Redeux

How many years that I've done this race? 

I don't even know anymore. 

We started doing this race on Thanksgiving when the boys were in strollers.

Then, my sister started doing it. She'd walk with the boys, and I'd run.

Then, the boys started running.

Then, I became a target.

Then, Jordan beat me the first time (when he was 16).

Then last year, Jordan beat me a 2nd time (when he was 17).

And I was pissed. REALLY mad. I wasn't mad that Jordan beat so much as I was just so mad at how my entire year(s) had gone and how no matter what I did I felt like I fell short of where I thought I could be. 

It was that day that I decided to sign up with Coach.

I have to say, Mr. Tea was really against the idea. The conversation was something like "Give me 3 months. If I don't see any improvement, I'll stop". 

Well, here I am a year later, and the conversation went something like this:

Me (a month ago): I was thinking that maybe I need a break from training.

Mr. T: You're breaking up with Ricci? Don't break up with Ricci.

Me: I'm not breaking up with him. I was just thinking of taking time off.

Mr. T: What will he say? You can't break up. You.just.CAN'T. I'm not going to let you.

Me: Ok. Fine. I'll just take off the week after my half. 

You gotta admit. That's pretty impressive.

Going into the race today, it was a little, I don't know. It was weird. I was the only one going to the race. That's ok. I do a lot of races on my own. 

It was weird because I realized that all those years of doing the race with the boys and getting up early and making the Thanksgiving Day breakfast and coming home and making dinner and watching football. They all went hand in hand.


20 mins before I'm leaving I hear this meek voice floating down the stairs.

"Tea? Tea? Are you still here?"

"Uh. Yea. I'm leaving in 20 minutes"

"I'm going with you."

If you follow me on FB, you also know the challenge that was henceforth thrown down.

"I'm up to see you PR. If I got up, your finish time better be in the 3x:xx"

Gawd, I hate pressure.  I'm hard enough on myself. A few minutes earlier, I'm thinking how nice it'd be to PR, but I didn't really think I could do it. Seriously, no finish times in recent history pointed to a PR. 

We head to the race. Since I was just planning on going myself, I left really late. My thinking was that I can run to the start as my warm up. As it turned out, we left a little too late and getting a parking space was a little tough. By the time I got parked, I was sprinting to the start (up hill). Not exactly the warm up I wanted, but it's something, right?

I have my strategy from the Great and Powerful Oz. That was fine. I got it. BUT, I was concerned with the times that I plugged into my garmin. 

Could I do it? Without blowing up? I have such a fantastic history of blowing up. With all the half marathon training, what would happen? Would I be slower? I have such a fantastic history of getting slower while half marathon training.

Once again, I just did as I was told. I put in the paces to increase every mile with the last mile running faster than my mile repeats. THAT's what scared me.

I've also found that I need to set my garmin where I don't see my heart rate or total time. I let it stress me out which causes my heart rate to go up which causes me to slow down which causes my time to increase.

In other words, I'm a basket case, but I've learned to work with it.

I kept saying to Mr. T, everyone is going to pass me. It's ok. I am going to catch them. I kept saying this over and over.

Which is clear that I wasn't actually telling this to Mr. T, I was reminding myself over and over to NOT GO OUT LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL.

The plan went smashingly, except for one thing. I think I actually went out too slow. I was running faster than what my garmin was set to....which means there was a whole lot of F*#$ YOU GARMIN.

It was a constant battle for me of "do I go faster or stick to my plan"?

I went conservatively faster.....faster than my Garmin....but not as fast as I could have. We're talking about a 4 mile race. It's not like I could have run :20 seconds per mile faster, but I could have gone :05. Could I have gone :10 faster? I don't know.

EXCEPT, the last half mile where I was going as hard as I could. My speed doesn't reflect it so much because it's a slight hill. But whatever....there was absolutely no smiling....I couldn't even try to smile.  When I saw the finish line, all I wanted was to see my pace drop into the 8's when I stepped on that  mat. 

And sure enough, it did.

I hit my garmin, and that's when the shock hit me. I just PR'd. It's been 9 years since I've seen a time that fast. I just killed my time from last year. My last PR was 39:32.

Last year, I finished in 44:23.

This year: 39:01 (official!)

My next race is a half marathon in 1.5 weeks. Remind me later that I'm saying I feel pretty good about it.

I don't know if it'll be a PR, but I think the stars might align for me.

I'd like it to be a PR.

I'd really like to be a PR.